Thank You for a Great Experience

Hello for the final time my loyal readers! This will sadly be my last blog from the Canada Games. I had a fantastic time here, the atmosphere is great and I’ve met a ton of friendly people.

Saskatchewan had tons of success on the court as we won bronze on Thursday after defeating Manitoba 58 to 56. It was one of the closest games I’ve ever experienced in my life and believe me I’ve experienced quite a lot of games in a variety of different sports. It really came down to free throw shots and I’m thankful now more than ever that our coach made us do so many free throws during practice. You may think that some of the drills you do are not as important as others, but believe me everything counts towards your goal, no matter what you do. Finishing off my on court experiences I would like to thank my team mates, my coaches, my parents and all the other parents and the supporters. I would also like to thank the people who were unable to come, because of injury or otherwise, you ALL contributed.

As for my off court experiences I would like to thank all of the volunteers; from the people driving me around to the various venues to the people doing security in the hotel. I don’t know if you get thanked enough, but to all the volunteers: THANK-YOU!!!!
For my final contribution I thought I’d leave you with a poem. The Team Sask Council wanted each team to come up with a poem of 4-6 lines about what you would bring to the Canada Games. Nothing ever came of it, but here is the poem my team and I wrote.
 
Bring a laugh, Bring a cheer
Bring whatever you hold dear.
Bring your skates, Bring your wheels
Bring some moves for the highlight reels.
Bring yourself, Bring your team
But most importantly, Bring a DREAM!!!!
 
Jaime Lammerding

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Playing for Bronze, Holding Our Heads High

Hello! A lot has happened since I wrote my last blog and it’s only been two days! On Tuesday we played two games, Alberta in the morning and B.C. in the evening. We beat Alberta 55 to 34, it was a good game for us, we started off strong, but lots of our shots weren’t falling, especially our lay ups. Winning the game against Alberta in the morning meant that it came down to whoever won the game between Saskatchewan and B.C. to see who moved on to the semi-final.

It was quite a game between Saskatchewan and B.C., everybody knew what was on the line and everbody wanted to win. Luckily for Saskatchewan we came out on top defeating B.C. 52 to 40. Like I said it was a great game, B.C. got up on us early but we managed to fight our way back and take the victory even though it was a very close game.

Beating B.C. meant that we got to face Ontario in the semi-final. Ontario was first in their pool winning all three preliminary games. We knew going in that Ontario would be a tough game, they have a lot of players who have played this game for a long time and have played together for quite a while. That being said we played a great game. We lost 71-45, but we pushed hard, and played our game for 40 minutes. One of the best parts of the game was that a lot of our rookies were able to log some quality court time and they really made it count. Watching how they played this game makes me think that the next Canada Games team will be just as strong if not stronger than the one we have now.

Since we lost to Ontario we face Manitoba today in the bronze medal game at 5 p.m. at Citadel High, this promises to be another great game!
Off the court I would just like to give a big Happy Birthday to Manitoba coach Mandy Johnson and to my teammate Jared Sajtos!!!
 
 
Jaime Lammerding
President
Club’99 Wheelchair Basketball

Fierce Competition and Making New Friends

Hello all,

Time now for my next thrilling athlete blog. We’ve gotten in to our competition now and on Sunday we lost 74-34 to Quebec. Quebec is a tough team, that has lots of players who have been playing together for a long time. They have speed, lots and lots of speed, and height. Quebec is also the number one ranked team in Canada right now after winning the Canadian Junior national tournament in Montreal last April.

On Monday we rebounded to defeat New Brunswick 71-38. It was close in the first quarter, but after we got warmed up we started to pull away. We played very good defense forcing New Brunswick into over 30 turnovers. There were lots of local fans at our game, even sitting directly behind our bench, but after some sweet talking and some high fives I think they were converted to Saskatchewan fans.

Our games continue on Tuesday when we face Alberta in the morning and B.C. in the evening. Both games should be good games to watch so stop by Citadel High if you have time.

That’s it for all of my on court experiences as for off court I’ve already completed my three goals! I got to see Theodore the Tugboat on Saturday, I completed my pin collection of getting one from every province, on Sunday (thanks to some free donations!) and I’ve gotten to know some of the other athletes here. Although, I hope as the week goes on I get to interact with even more athletes!
 
 
Jaime Lammerding

Wheelchair’s Able-Bodied Contribution

Hello everyone,
 
My name is Jaime Lammerding from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I am currently a third year English student at the University of Saskatchewan with hopes to go on to journalism school. I am attending the 2011 Canada Games as an athlete in wheelchair basketball and I have been playing for four years. I also attended the 2007 Canada Games in Whitehorse for wheelchair basketball in only my first year of playing.

What might surprise you to know about me is that I am an able-bodied athlete playing wheelchair basketball, meaning I do not require a chair unless I’m on the court. There are actually three able-bodied players on my team. Wheelchair basketball uses a point system, ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 to classify players and teams are only allowed a 15 points total on the floor at a time. Players are classified as different points based on their body functionality; the less body function a player has, the lower their points. Able-bodied, unclassifiable players, like myself, are only allowed to play at a provincial level (ex: for Saskatchewan at the Canada Games), however classifiable athletes can compete at the national level for Team Canada. Currently Canada has a men’s and women’s national team as well as a junior and women’s under-25 team.
 
At the games this year, myself as well as my team would like to earn a medal, any medal. Off the court I would like to collect a pin from every province, get to know some of my fellow athletes and get a picture with Theodore the Tugboat, one of CBC’s morning kid shows.